New term for scout group in Ballygally

First Ballygally Squirrels and Beavers Scout Group is inviting children aged between four and seven to join their ranks.

The group recently started a new term at Ballygally Hall, where the Squirrels learnt all about road safety and are now ready to start going outside for activities. Meanwhile, the Beavers completed their disability awareness badge.

This has been a very successful first year for scout group. First Ballygally Beaver Colony was set up in September 2015, while the Squirrel Drey was set up in February this year. There are now 21 children across the two sections.

There has never been a scout group in Ballygally and the leaders hope that this will be the start of a strong group in the area. The plan is to set up the other sections as the children become old enough to join.

Squirrels are boys and girls aged four or five and meet at 5.15pm at Ballygally Hall, while the Beavers (girls and boys aged six and seven) meet at 5pm. Both sections finish at 6pm.

The Beaver Scouts have been earning lots of badges so far and have completed their space, navigator, communicator, and international badges as well as working towards their challenge badges.

The first Squirrels were invested before the Easter holidays and are now completing lots of fun activities, such as printing with celery, learning Japanese, learning to skip, as well as participating in lots of games and craft and listening to storie, as they work towards their SMILE badges.

The Squirrels are also looking forward to attending their first ever Squirrel Rally on Saturday, April 23. The Beavers will attend their annual Beaver Rally in May.

Parents have been very impressed with the group so far. One parent said: “I think the group has been a valuable help for my son with regards to socialising with other kids and doing something independent of me.”

Before the children are invested they learn the importance of the promises that they make during their time in the Association.

Group Scout Leader Caragh Reid wanted to create a group in Ballygally which would have met with the approval of her grandfather Harry Scott, who was very involved in scouting from childhood until the age of 82, and was chief commissioner for Cubs.

It was Harry’s idea for the creation of Beaver Scouts 50 years ago, a section which was ultimately set up by Mervyn Douglas, a family friend, and is now an internationally recognised organization.

Caragh said: “Hopefully what we have created in Ballygally is a group which would have made my grandfather proud and which focuses on the true ethos of scouting.”

As there has never been a scout group in Ballygally, the leaders had the enjoyable task of designing the group scarf. The resulting scarf is very attractive and consists of four colours; gold to represent the sand, blue to represent the sea, white for the limestone, and green for the hills of Ballygally.

If you would like your child to join either the Squirrels or Beavers at Ballygally, bring them to Ballygally Hall on Thursday evening at 5pm for Beavers and 5.15pm for Squirrels. They will be very welcome.

The leaders at First Ballygally Scout Group are also very glad to meet new volunteers who would like to help. If you would like to volunteer or want your child to join the group, contact Caragh on 07817 110 404, email ballygallyscouts@gmx.co.uk or visit the group’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/1stballygallyscoutgroup.